Mathews Inc.
Deer in Soybeans
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
jrhurn 09-Oct-18
tobywon 09-Oct-18
Junior 09-Oct-18
APauls 09-Oct-18
jrhurn 09-Oct-18
sticksender 09-Oct-18
Mark Watkins 09-Oct-18
Matte 09-Oct-18
Zbone 09-Oct-18
The Famous Grouse 09-Oct-18
From: jrhurn
All my bowhunting career, I have thought and observed Deer moving off of Soybeans when they brown up, and go back when it is cold. We even set up our property with this in mind.

This last weekend, we say deer after deer piling into a Soybean field to our west and I couldn't explain it. One explanation I received was that since it had been so wet and raining all day, the moisture softened up the beans and the Deer went for them.

What say you all? Have I just had a wrong assumption all these years or has the really moist fall changed their preference, or is there another explanation.


From: tobywon
How is the acorn mast, fruit trees and other preferred food sources doing in your area? Maybe that is part of the reason.

From: Junior
You see any new browse growing after the leaves fell off. Unless its cold we never see deer eating beans. Leaves in the summer then the actual bean winter.

From: APauls
Up here it's all beans all the time until they get cut they can not be beat.

From: jrhurn
Tobywon - browse is good and our plots all are green and doing well.

Junior - I have always thought the same.

APauls - Maybe that is the case, usually beans are out by now.

From: sticksender
I never found them to stop eating beans at all stages of maturity. Except maybe for the time period when the acorns are raining down....they can't resist the oak nuts.

From: Mark Watkins

As we aall know whitetails love beans like no other. The only time (in west central MN) that they don't go to them as the preffered food source is when the leaves start yellowing and the beans are still wet and chewy. This is about a three week window on my land.

So, I overseed brassicas into the beans right AFTER a rain. then I run my four wheeler down the rows (30" rows on my farm) to get good seed to soil contact. Then fertilize in 4-6 weeks right BEFORE a rain. Then early September, I overseed winter rye and winter oats to create the "bowhunters buffet!"

works incredibly well!

Hope this might provide some insight!


From: Matte
I had a buck I was hunting go to brown beans over green (late maturity beans) last week. 85 degrees no rain wind from the south.

From: Zbone
Been my experience they luv them when they're green (all parts leaves, stems, beans) but seem to abandon the when they yellow, then return to them after picked for leftover beans in winter when pickings get slim...

I'm an Eagle Seeds dealer and talk to a lot of hunters who plant Eagle Forage Soybeans.

What seems to the most common thread regarding when deer eat and don't eat soybeans is the availability of other high-protein food sources.

This year here in MN, we've had a lot of rain that has kept farmers from harvesting soybeans and instead the farmers have been in the corn early. This is the opposite of the usual harvest order, usually, soybeans are the first to go, but soybean pods will actually soak up moisture, so this year the corn in many areas was dry before the beans.

So if the corn in an area gets harvested, the next best food available is often soybeans if the deer can find them and this year there are a lot of bean fields left untouched so far.

My farm is in an area in MN where the corn is grown to be silage cut. As soon as the forage harvesters got done with the corn in my section, the deer moved in and attacked the soybeans with a vengeance. The ate everything because the forage soybeans have protein in the leaves and stalks as well.


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